ISHRS – Dissecting Microscopes vs. Magnifying Loops

Dissecting Microscope vs. Magnifying Loops with Transillumination in the Preparation of Follicular Grafts

This study compared two popular dissecting techniques, dissecting microscopes and magnifying loops.   When a hair transplant is done, a strip of hair called the donor strip is removed from the back of the head.  The follicles are then ‘dissected’ out of the strip so that they can be implanted individually on the top of the head.  Because getting maximum use of the donor hair is critical to get the best results, doctors are constantly seeking out the best method of dissecting the grafts.  Currently there is a debate about the older, standard techniques and the new use of dissecting microscopes.  Some doctors contend that the older techniques are just as good as using microscopes as long as the dissecting staff is skilled.  These doctors believe that the use of the microscope can slow down the dissection greatly.  Other doctors contend that the microscopes allow you to see hairs that you can not see with the naked eye and that it allows you to prevent transsection of the follicles (accidentally cutting the follicle during dissection).  They say that with practice and skill, the dissection of the strips can be almost or as fast as the older methods.

Donor strips were taken from 41 patients in a prospective, bilateral controlled fashion to compare the two techniques.  The results showed that microscopic dissection produced 10% more follicular units or 17% more hairs overall than the traditional method.  The study also observed only one part of the dissection using microscopes, and it is believed that further studies will show that when the entire procedure is done with microscopes, the yield of hairs may be even greater.